June 25, 2013

'24' is Back; Are You The Jack Bauer of Your Content Marketing Team?

Jack is back. After 20 Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, countless “save the day” moments and gut-wrenching scenes (the death of David Palmer anyone??), the critically-acclaimed, cult phenomenon “24” is making its way back into our hearts next May.

The series—which follows CTU agent-turned superhuman-turned rogue individual Jack Bauer around for one day as he stops terrorist attacks, supernaturally survives his own death several times and manages to have a significant other every few years—is nothing short of addictive. For 10 years, viewers experienced a mix of highs and lows from the unfathomable murder of Teri to the transformation of computer geek Chloe O’Brian into Jack’s right-hand lady to the surprise revelation that President Logan was involved in President Palmer’s death to the resurrection of Tony Almeida.

So with “24” fresh in our minds once again, and viewers everywhere beginning the countdown to the “Previously on 24” interlude, it’s time as a marketer to ask yourself the critical question: Do you have a Jack Bauer for your content marketing strategy? We can actually learn quite a bit from the iconic characters of “24” and the importance of embracing several of their traits when it comes to content marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at some of the most beloved “24” characters and what you should take away from them:

Jack Bauer

One of Jack’s greatest attributes is his fearlessness, as evidenced by his uncanny knack for preventing numerous major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil to faking his own death to preclude the US from having to go to war against China to outing the President of the United States for his involvement in a conspiracy plot.

Lesson to extract: You need to be fearless when it comes to your content marketing strategy, ready to jump head-first into this new marketing age. The facts speak for themselves: 61% of consumers are more likely to purchase goods from businesses that offer custom content; 52% of consumers say blogs have impacted purchase decisions; 57% of marketers have acquired new customers via their blogs; and 42% of consumers look to articles and blogs for information. You need to take advantage of these statistics. Don’t let the fear of embracing a new marketing concept keep you benched. The ROI is yours for the taking. So put on your bravest Jack Bauer face and start making room in your budget for a content marketing strategy.

Chloe O’Brian

The programmer for CTU who was consistently praised for her proven and superb knowledge of hacking into other organizations' computer software, finding classified information and following suspects with satellite tracking, Chloe was the consummate professional. She always did her homework and knew exactly how to execute a plan.

Lesson to extract: Once you get the fear out of the way and are ready to tackle content marketing, you need to have a plan. Chloe relied on her prowess and proven track record when honing in on strategy and you need to do the same. Do your homework. Don’t jump in blindly. Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers—including your competitors—may already be leveraging content marketing strategies, but less than 20 percent of companies have a documented content marketing strategy in place, meaning that the majority of marketers who leverage content marketing are winging it. 

Chloe was never guilty of winging it and neither should you. Conversely, come up with a plan. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy, decide what you want to talk about and then identify the communications channels that you will use to spread your message.

David Palmer

Though only President for one term, David Palmer warmed our hearts with his bellowing voice, calming disposition and unwavering commitment to “doing good.” But perhaps the most important quality of President Palmer was his ability to listen and go in a different direction when it was in the best interest of the country. Remember when he allowed Jack to stage a prison escape for Ramon Salazar because it was Jack’s best chance to stop a virus from spreading in the US?

Lesson to extract: One of the most important things about adopting a content marketing strategy is identifying when you need to change direction. Sometimes one tactic won’t work and that’s okay—you then have the opportunity to figure out a better direction to head towards. And, like Palmer, listen to those around you. Oftentimes, the best ideas come from your team. Surround yourself with an A-group of marketers, editors and writers and ask them how they would strengthen your content marketing strategy.

Believe it or not, we can learn a lot from our favorite TV characters about the type of marketer we should be. Did we not include your favorite “24” character above? Let us know below or tell us which TV characters inspire you.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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